BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY, THE UPLANDS OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND

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CLOUGHA PIKE UNTIL RECENT YEARS THE BOWLAND STRONGHOLD FOR THE STONECHAT. PETE WOODRUFF.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Adder.


I have been kindly sent some images of the Adder, two of which are posted below and credited accordingly. There's no mention of where the photographs were taken and I wouldn't expect there to have been and I am most grateful to PG for getting in touch with me once again and furnishing me with some more excellent photograph's to add interest to Birds2blog as yet another diversion from the birds is necessary.

Adult Adder with thanks to Peter Guy.

Its to be expected that Peter found the location to photograph the Adder as they emerge from their hibernation about this time of the year having gone down to sleep sometime in September. They are Britain's only venomous reptile and are widespread throughout mainland Britain, are the most northerly distributed snake, the only species found inside the Arctic Circle, and are one of the most widespread species of snake, they may be found in a variety of habitats including open woodland, moorland, mountains, sand dunes, riverbanks, and heathland. 

The Adder uses its venom to immobilise its prey such as small mammals, amphibians, lizards, and nestlings, they are usually able to avoid any struggles with their prey as after the strike they leave the venom to take its effect on the victim before following its scent to find the body....I think this is called economical hunting! 

A few points of interest regarding reproduction are that the Adder is one of the few snakes which give birth to live young and the female can produce anything between five and twenty in late August although the number is more likely to be up to ten. The female doesn't breed in consecutive years, a fact related to its inability to build up its fat reserves in order to breed from one season to the next.

Juvenile Adder with thanks to Peter Guy.

The adder isn't an aggressive snake and usually attacks only if it is threatened under harassment and although its venom poses little danger to a healthy adult human, the bite is very painful and requires urgent medical treatment so....be warned....but as a responsible lover of our wildlife you wouldn't want to interfere with the Adder anyway....would you!



2 comments:

Warren Baker said...

I'm looking forward to finding some snakes on my patch soon pete.

Have you seen 'Greenie in the wilds' blog ? he's got some good snake photo's, you can find his site on my blog list.

Pete Woodruff said...

Will take a look at 'Greenie' when I get a chance and thanks for pointing me in his direction Warren.